LSU Finance Students Finish Tenth in Global Competition

December 06, 2021

LSU team for 2021 Bloomberg Trading Challenge

Left to right: London Spivey, Maxime Besse, Matthew St. Martin, and Ryne Weiss

A group of LSU finance students finished in the top 2 percent of worldwide competitors in Bloomberg’s 2021 Global Trading Challenge. With nearly 500 teams in the competition, Tiger Fund managers Maxime Besse of Baton Rouge, La.; London Spivey of Denver; Matthew St Martin of LaPlace, La.; and Ryne Weiss of Fort Worth, Texas finished in tenth place worldwide and fifth place among teams from North America. Instructor Tish O’Connor, CFA served as the group’s advisor.

In the eight-week competition, each team was given a virtual sum of $1 million to invest. Participants used Bloomberg terminals to define market assumptions, develop a return-generating strategy, and execute trades. The winning team had the highest relative P&L to the Bloomberg World Large, Mid & Small Cap Price Return Index (WLS Index).

“Our strategy was to take advantage of the success and growth in the technology industry, so we decided to lever our portfolio to established semiconductor companies heavily,” said Besse. “We also took advantage of volatility in stocks due to the extremely short timeframe for the challenge. Finally, we purchased a large quantity of Tesla and Coinbase for potentially high returns. Our biggest winners in the portfolio were NVIDIA, Tesla, AMD and Coinbase.”

“Competing in the Bloomberg Trading Challenge was a fun way for us to show off our portfolio management skills as a team and represent our school on a global level,” said St Martin.

The Department of Finance's curriculum and Securities Markets Analysis Research and Trading Lab, or SMART Lab, helped position the team for success. 

“Participating in the challenge was a great way to showcase the high-quality education that my teammates and I have received through LSU and specifically the Department of Finance,” said Spivey.  

“We would not have been able to accomplish this without access to Bloomberg and the SMART Lab,” said Weiss. “They provide an in-depth knowledge and information not accessible through other resources.”

Established in 2002, the SMART Lab is a state-of-the-art finance lab. With 12 Bloomberg terminals, 50 computers, a streaming ticker, and quote boards, the lab functions as a high-tech, hands-on lab and classroom offering access to financial data, leading analytic software and professional research tools.

About the Department of Finance
The Department of Finance offers high-quality curricula to undergraduate and graduate students interested in corporate finance, asset management, real estate, insurance, banking, financial planning and business law. The department boasts internationally renowned research faculty in several areas, including derivatives, asset management, banking and spatial econometrics. The department’s Securities Markets Analysis Research & Trading Lab utilizes the Bloomberg Professional service, the platform used by more than 300,000 leading business and financial professionals worldwide to make informed business decisions, and an extensive library of financial databases including the Wharton WRDS System. Additionally, the department encourages, supports and conducts research in real estate by housing the nationally renowned Real Estate Research Institute. For more information, visit or call 225-578-6291.

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